Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: Range-of-Motion Exercises

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: Range-of-Motion Exercises

Topic Overview

Children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) must do regular range-of-motion exercises to prevent contractures and to maintain joint range and flexibility.

If your child is 4 years old or younger, an adult will need to move the child's joints through the range-of-motion exercises. This is called passive range of motion. The adult will gently move the joints from a bent position to a straightened position several times. Range-of-motion exercises may be painful during a flare of arthritis. So it is very important to be gentle. Exercises should be done at least twice a day. And they should be reviewed now and then by a physical therapist.

Older children can do the exercises themselves but may still need adult supervision. Children need support and encouragement from the family to continue exercises.

Also, encourage your child to participate in low-impact sports, such as swimming, biking, or rowing. These aerobic exercises are good for the heart and lungs, build strength, and keep joints flexible. Doing activities like these with other children helps improve a child's ability to function and builds self-confidence. It may also reduce pain, disability, and the need for medicines.

Related Information

Credits

Current as ofJune 10, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.

Find a Doctor

Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.

View Doctors

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.